Sunday, December 03, 2006

2006 Fall WLV4 Rankings

FITD's fall rankings based on fall results:

1) Pittsburgh

2) Princeton

3) Tulsa

4) MIT

5) Radcliffe

6) Pacific Lutheran

7) URI

8) UMass

9) Georgia

10) Georgia State

The first three crews are pretty straightforward as they were the top three at the Head of the Charles and were all reasonably close to each other. Judgment comes into play with fourth place as the fourth boat in Boston, Pacific Lutheran, was almost a minute back from Tulsa. Meanwhile MIT and Radcliffe only raced fours at the Foot of the Charles. In my judgment, I think it reasonable to assume that MIT and Radcliffe would be closer to Tulsa and Princeton than PLU's 52 seconds, so MIT comes in 4th and Radcliffe is 5th. I realize that these boats were comprised of members of the eights that raced in Boston and between this ranking and the eights ranking some of these rowers will be ranked twice, a state of affairs which seemingly shouldn't be allowed. Worrying about that, however, would introduce even more speculation so the boats are ranked as they raced.

The fourth and fifth finishers in Boston, Pacific Lutheran and URI, come in 6th and 7th. They are followed by UMass, which was 57 seconds back from Radcliffe at the Foot, Georgia, who beat Georgia State at the Hooch, and then Georgia State, the sixth place boat in Boston. UMass was closer to MIT at the Foot than Georgia State was to Tulsa in Boston and since Georgia beat Georgia State by only three seconds, UMass is ranked higher. This is all a bit convoluted, but hopefully it makes some sense.

The story of the season, of course, is Pitt, followed closely by Tulsa. In the spring, Pitt has been racing a four, not an eight, but if they have some lightweight depth this year it would be great to see them put out an eight. They did race an eight in the fall, which won the Head of the Ohio, so perhaps we'll see it at Dad Vails. Tulsa seems to be in the midst of a rowing renaissance with a new boathouse coming and the Head of the Oklahoma in their backyard. With an emphasis on lightweights we should hear the Tulsa name a lot this spring. I can see Tulsa hitting IRAs (if not this year then next) as the next UCF. It was also interesting to see Pacific Lutheran in the mix. They race lightweights now and then but hopefully a decent result in Boston will encourage them to put some focus on the lights this spring.

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, good analysis. Wisco probably wouldn't be there at all.

Anonymous said...

Can you add these rankings to your side-bar as well so that we can see how the fours change over the season just like we see the eights?

JW Burk said...

Regarding the first comment:
Yes, I agree with you! Although Wisconsin did race lightweight fours at the Head of the Iowa, the competition was isolated and couldn't be compared, in either eights or fours, to the rest of the lightweight field. This made the victory impossible to measure. For this same reason Wisconsin was unranked last year in the fall. I thought this was obvious, but perhaps I should have mentioned it. I would be anxious to hear another analysis, however, that addresses where you should be placed in the mix.

Regarding the second comment:
I can add these rankings to the sidebar and adjust through the season. I didn't do this in the past because the fours are just so difficult to track and rank. I start out the V8 list with preseason rankings, but I can't do that with fours, mostly because it is less clear who will actually be racing fours. Also, the volatility of the fours is greater than the eights so there is more opportunity to look silly (which I don't really need help to do!) trying to do a preseason and early in-season ranking. Fours are important, though, so I'll try it this season by starting out with the fall ranking.